When it comes to fitness, there’s one debate that seems to be eternally in progress and that is the great cardio vs strength debate! So whether you’re a cardio addict who can’t get enough of the high heart rate stuff, or you’re more strength inclined and love to jump on the gain train, we’ve enlisted the help of our National Personal Training Manager Pete Gleeson, to help settle the great cardio vs strength debate once and for all, to find out how much of each we should be doing each week.
What does the ideal weekly workout split look like?
In a perfect world 4-5 training sessions a week is ideal with 2-3 active recovery days. Training should combine the major elements of fitness: strength, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and recovery. An ideal week would be; weights on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, cardio on Tuesday/Thursday, leisure based fitness on Saturday and Yoga on Sunday. It’s important to also note that stretching should be done daily with each workout. Stretching is one of the most underrated parts of exercise.
Why is it important to mix up your workouts?
This is goal dependent, but if "fit, healthy and in-shape" is what you’re aiming for, then no one method of training will be enough on its own. Strength, cardio and flexibility all complement each other, which is why it’s important to systematically mix up your workouts throughout the week. Contrary to popular belief, it's not so much to keep the body guessing, but to rather keep the body progressing.
How often should you switch up your weekly workout routine?
Not as often as you think as consistency really is the key to success. Once you’ve found a routine that you can maintain, stick at it until you stop seeing or feeling results. There’s not a set time frame for when you should switch it up, but it's generally when the training is no longer providing your body with the stimulus to change, i.e. when your body gets 'used to it'.
Do we need 1 rest day each week?
We need to rest what we've just trained. Rest days aren't required, but recovery is. Training causes micro-damage within the muscles, which leads to repair and rebuild. If we train it before it's rebuilt, we'll just keep taking it's progress back to zero. In saying that, active-recovery has a greater benefit than rest, and it's a lot more enjoyable! So, get off the couch and do something enjoyable like a walk, game of social tennis or water sports.